I’m going to make this as short as possible because there’s already been so much said. Hopefully, I don’t repeat so many other bloggers on this issue and if I do, I apologize.
I lead with the video of Wanda Sykes, who just recent came out as a lesbian and spoke out against Prop 8 this past weekend because I want people to realize that the fight for gay marriage rights is not just one fought by gay white males. Yes, there are several LGBTQ people of color who stand up for this issue, and I applaud them for their work. One of the first gay couples to get married in California in June was a black lesbian couple, but their faces are rarely shown in mainstream media…the first images we saw were ones of white gay males getting married.
So not only do you have a lack of LGBTQ Blacks and Latinos at the forefront of this fight, but then you have the backlash of White gays blaming black people for the passing of Prop 8. Adele Carpenter at Racialicious said it best:
I believe all communities need to be held accountable for their homophobia and transphobia. I want to acknowledge the suffering and hardship that the passage of Proposition 8 has caused for LGBT couples and families. But, while the media casts blame on communities of color for the passage of Prop 8, it is imperative that we struggle against the logic that tells us that struggles for LGBT civil rights and racial justice are separate—that we re-examine our strategies for advancing LGBT civil rights and gay marriage and, in particular, look at places where LGBT communities have failed to align our struggles for civil rights with ongoing struggles for racial justice.
Finally there’s the issue of gay marriage as a whole. I was raised in a Christian home, but I still see the need to give gay people the right to get married. To paraphrase Keith Olberman, everyone regardless of their sexual orientation has the right to be a little less lonely in the world. I ask opponents of gay marriage, how would gays getting married really effect your way of life? No one can ever give me a real answer to that. In America, we are supposed to have the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If your pursuit of happiness is to marry a woman, and your a woman, what’s it to me?
Wanda Sykes said it best. If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married. And that’s exactly how I feel.
As for the comparison to Jim Crow Laws…are they the same? No. Are they very, very similar? YES. Without a doubt in my mind.
There isn’t an exact difference between this and Supreme Court vs. Loving. Afrobella brought this up in her recent Prop 8 post, Love, not H8:
As someone who’s in a marriage that would have once been deemed illegal, I find the parallels between this country’s attitude towards interracial marriage and same-sex marriage to be dismaying and disheartening. And I am not alone — the late Mildred Loving felt the same way, and spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage before she passed away this year. “I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry… That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about,” she declared.
But how can you say that this is NOTHING like the Jim Crow Laws? My man and I, who love each other very much, can get married whenever and wherever we want. However, our two good friends who are gay and lesbian respectively cannot marry the partners they love so dearly. And that is an example of social injustice and inequality.
No matter how you slice it, this is an issue of great importance and one that minorities should not be blamed for nor shun. And I hope we can cultivate some good healthy dialog about how important this issue is for us.